Ouzo Bay

If whole fish is your thing, go to Ouzo Bay in Harbor East. You can peer at your raw specimen lounging on a bed of ice prior to making your final decision. They do peer back, however, so just be aware. My Chinese sister-in-law, who from time to time enjoys snacking on a wobbly fish eye, tells me if the fish looks back, buy it. Apparently, bright and googly-eyed equals fresh. Score one for Ouzo Bay.  If I were the Black Olive restaurant, I would be worried.

Our dining four-some started with two orders of the charcoal-grilled calamari — two orders as there was no way we were going to be able to share just one. The calamari hovers in that blissful state between a toothsome al dente pasta and a silky, tender scallop. No rubbery chew or mushy mouth-feel here. I look forward to dining at the bar and wiping out a plate of these healthful rings all by myself .

What followed for all of us was a simply prepared whole fish. Between the four of us we dined on 2 red snapper, a black sea bass and a Bronzino. The black sea bass was the sweet and delicate standout. We also ordered a side of horta, which is easily split between two people. Horta is a type of hardy green often just given a splash of olive oil and a bit of crunchy sea salt. Try it, you’ll like it.

If fish isn’t your thing, there are certainly many other non-seafood items on the menu, all with a Greek flair. We saw a parade of picture perfect lamb shanks come marching out of the kitchen as well as pork chops and small plates with various salads, spreads and dips. Dessert lovers beware, these morsels are mini works of art and we all particularly enjoyed the coconut cake.

And finally, if I were single and of the hip variety, you might find me with a gaggle of gal-pals staking claim to a set of stools at the bar. Quite a lively bar scene emerges as the dinner hour winds down, complete with music and a well-heeled crowd 3-deep at the bar. Go see for yourself.


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